The THUNDER blows hot and cold | TheFencePost.com
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The THUNDER blows hot and cold

Paul Pack
Aurora, Colo.

What on Earth would bring out hundreds of spectators and hundreds more participants to The Ranch near Loveland, Colo., on the coldest and nastiest weekend so far in 2007? Probably nothing less than the Big Thunder Draft Horse Show, with 13 large hitches coming from as far away as California, Ohio and Canada.

If you recall the second week of January, the temps were hovering around the zero mark. It started snowing again Saturday night and continued through most of Sunday “not the weather organizers would have liked. So now we know where the “Cold” in the title of this article came from. But it was INSIDE that the Hot came into play. A great show and good audiences put a warm glow over the entire arena for the three days of the event.

Entries in the performance classes of the Big Thunder Draft Horse Show were divided into two groups: A and B, with half the class performing one show and the other half at the next. There was six-up competition at each show, with the addition of an eight-up class on Sunday. The Farm Team Race was held Sunday only, so that entrants could show up for just one day and not worry about over-nighting. That Farm Team Race prize went to Mike Cushman of Glendo, Wyo.; in fact, Wyoming had good representation with the Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch from Cheyenne taking home some blue ribbons.

Sheila Grange of Platteville, Colo., continues to serve as Show Chairwoman with the support of many members of the Northern Chapter of the CDHA, all who do a great job of keeping things moving smoothly.

Nelson Schrock of Wisconsin came in to judge and was very impressed with the facilities at the Larimer County Fairgrounds. He liked the fact exhibitors did not have to leave the building to get to the show arena. Doug Shane from Penrose, Colo.

provided the music and announced the show (his very first draft show) and he did a great job keeping the crowd in the flow of things ” particularly during the childrens’ Stick Horse Races.

Abby Sluzewski, Director of the Arena, estimated the three day attendance at about 1,300 ” not bad given the weather and road conditions.

Many of the hitches moved on to the National Western Draft Show Jan. 18- 21, just one week later, to participate in the North American Classic Finals, the big finale for the six-up competitions. The Big Thunder Show is a NA Classic series event and points earned here will count for next year’s championship.

It takes so many people and sponsors to put this kind of show on, we wish we could mention each and every one of them, but alas, we cannot. The Ranch is to be congratulated for their support and participation.

Watch for next year’s Big Thunder one week before the NWSS Draft Show.


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